South America Tours

Most Australians travelling to South America visit more than one country on their holiday, crossing borders to get a true taste for the diversity this continent has to offer.
 
Where to start? There are numerous gateways in South America, the most common for Australians being Santiago and Buenos Aires. From there it will depend on what your style of travel is as to where you want to go.
 
What’s it like?  It is impossible to sum up South America in brief, it is a continent like no other, offering a variety of incredulous terrains, a host of differing cultures, a fascinating and unique range of wildlife, a gastronomic cuisine, an intriguing history and a range of adventure-filled activities. From snow-capped mountains to turquoise lakes, stark arid deserts, rainforest, vast salt flats, pampas grasslands, glaciers, volcanoes, spectacular coastline and waterfalls, the landscapes of South America are breathtaking. In complete contrast are bustling and vibrant cities such as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Lima and Montevideo. Then there are fascinating colonial towns such as Cusco, Sucre, Quito, Cartagena and Colonia and the mining towns of Potosi and Ouro Preto. South America is steeped in history and culture and a South America tour could allow you to delve into the history of the Inca, Moche and Nazca civilisations or immerse yourself in the culture of the Quechua Indians or the Afro-Brazilian beat of Salvador. For food lovers, a gastronomic experience awaits, tempting you with mouth-watering Argentinian steaks or fresh seafood ceviche accompanied by a glass of fine Chilean or Argentinian wine. Put simply South America has it all, all you need to decide is what type of journey you are after, South America has it all.  
 
Getting there: For Australians visiting South America there are many ways to get there, the most popular is flying the southern route south via Auckland to Santiago/Buenos Aires. From the west there is also the option to go via Abu Dhabi in the middle east to Sao Paulo/Buenos Aires, or for those who want to do a bit of shopping on the way there are many options via Los Angeles in the USA and then dropping down into Lima or Quito It will depend on where you start and end your journey.
 
More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.
 
Still wondering? Contact us:  You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you. 
 
 

The entire journey with Chimu Adventures was amazing! Our guides were great. The hotels were perfect. I couldn't think of going with any other travel company! - Ashharman

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Featured South America Trips & Deals

JAW DROPPING  From 12,045

This 27 day journey ticks off the 'Big Five' bucket list items: Buenos Aires, Iguazu falls, Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu, the Amazon plus the Galapagos Islands.

POPULAR  From 2,439

Discover the highlights of two of South America's most amazing cities, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, including a trip to Iguazu Falls.

WOW MOMENTS  From 7,339

Looking to explore South America? This 21 day loop covers the best of Argentina, Brazil, Peru and a taste of Chile. Giving you an incredible taste of the continent.   

South America Tours

12 NIGHTS From 10,499

Take the opportunity to explore Chile, the country of contrasts. Start in the Atacama Desert and finish in Patagonia to witness the glaciers & ice fields.

6 NIGHTS From 3,885

Discover some of Patagonia’s most beautiful features on this 7-day journey, including the Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

8 NIGHTS From 2,625

From Lake Titicaca, to Cusco and Machu Picchu, this nine-day trip is packed full of excitement allowing you see all the best that Peru has to offer.

26 NIGHTS From 12,045

This 27 day journey ticks off the 'Big Five' bucket list items: Buenos Aires, Iguazu falls, Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu, the Amazon plus the Galapagos Islands.

11 NIGHTS From 4,359

Marvel at the cascading beauty of Iguazu Falls, the famous sites of Rio de Janeiro and hidden histories of Cusco on this express tour of South America.

19 NIGHTS From 6,989

Representing excellent value for money, this trip provides an excellent insight into the continent.

17 NIGHTS From 6,949

Experience the mystical glaciers, sparkling lakes, wildlife & breath-taking scenery of both the Chilean & Argentinean Patagonia.

19 NIGHTS From 8,955

Visit Salta in Argentina & Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia - the real heart of South America & some of the most spectacular scenery in this great continent.

Destinations

Places to Visit

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site, located 2,430m above sea level on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley.

Patagonia

With highlights such as the Valdez Peninsular, Moreno Glacier, Tierra Del Fuego, Torres Del Paine, El Chaten and the stunning Fjords of Chile, Patagonia is the perfect place to get up close and personal with nature.

Galapagos Islands

Many of the Galapagos’s unique animals exist in no other place on Earth. The Galapagos truly are a wonder that should not be missed.

Pantanal

For those who wish to see some South American wildlife and get close to nature, a trip to Brazil would not be complete without a stay in the Pantanal.

Articles On South America

Best Things To Do in South and Central America – NOVEMBER Guide

Posted on Mon, 15 Oct 2018

As the southern summer season takes hold of a great part of the South America, now is the time to explore the more remote regions of Patagonia, the normally crowded big-name attractions in Peru and Bolivia, as well as the hot-spot of Colombia, where rains subside. November is a brilliant month to travel almost anywhere in Latin America, as the …

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Visit the Pantanal and Meet Some of the World’s Strangest Creatures

Posted on Sun, 14 Oct 2018

You know you’re approaching an otherworldly place when the street sign tells you to watch out for an animal that seems to have been inspired by a science-fiction book. Sure, it kind of looks like a mouse…but how big would it have to be to warrant a SIGN?! Remote and pristine, the Pantanal was established as a UNESCO World Heritage …

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Latin America Travel – Best Souvenirs That Won’t End Up in a Drawer

Posted on Fri, 12 Oct 2018

We admit that when travelling, sometimes, it is simply easier to dedicate just a couple of hours of our last day to hitting a gargantuan tourist market and filling up a small suitcase full of fridge magnets, key-chains and snow-globes that glow in the dark. Because, really, who wants to waste time and money buying stuff for friends back home …

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Last Minute Bookings To Antarctica. Is It Possible?

Posted on Wed, 10 Oct 2018

Antarctica is a beautiful and majestic place and a must do on many people’s bucket list, but what options are there if you feel you may have missed out because of common issues such as lack of time, slight forgetfulness or low to high volumes of procrastination? We are here to let you know that there are still options for …

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Crystal Endeavor- Where Luxury Meets Expedition

Posted on Tue, 09 Oct 2018

Many ships have braved the seas of the Polar regions and many have been specially designed for the distinct conditions, however, the Crystal Endeavor reaches new heights in the world of Polar vessels, being ‘the first purpose-built mega yacht that is Polar Code compliant’. The Crystal Endeavor has challenged and introduced exceptional new standards in expedition cruising and absolute luxury. …

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Heads Up! Your Wildlife Guide to the Andes Mountains

Posted on Mon, 08 Oct 2018

Your comprehensive guide to South America’s Andes Mountains – one mesmerizing wildlife treat at a time South America’s most defining topographical feature is home to some of its most iconic creatures. Although many first-time visitors simply include some section of the Andes Mountain range in their itinerary for the sole purpose of being overawed by a wall of sky-high peaks …

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National Geographic’s World’s Best Eco-lodges – Latin America Cleans Up!

Posted on Thu, 04 Oct 2018

National Geographic has just released its collection of World’s Best Eco-lodges and we certainly weren’t surprised to find that, out of the 44 worldwide contenders, Latin America is home to 12.  We’ve long-since known that Latin America offers a wealth of options for those who love exploring and love Mother Nature, in equal measure, and have been dedicated to offering …

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Wildlife Watching in Brazil – Amazon VS the Pantanal

Posted on Thu, 04 Oct 2018

One amazing country – two magnificent wildlife powerhouses. Which one is best to visit? Wildlife-enthusiasts looking for an exceptional journey in Brazil will undoubtedly come to the same decision crossroads: should they visit the largest rainforest on earth…or the largest wetlands? Whilst the Amazon Rainforest may be the most famous and celebrated wildlife-watching destination in Brazil, the Pantanal is, by …

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Why Travelling With a Purpose is the Best Way to Travel

Posted on Wed, 03 Oct 2018

There are more options for meaningful travel, out there, than humans on our planet and that’s because purpose, by its very definition, is an immensely personal perspective. Whether you travel to volunteer or learn a new language or to satisfy a particular personal challenge (hike a mountain in every country, watch a soccer match in every city or hike through …

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The Most Sensational Hiking Trails in Chile (That Aren’t The W-Trek)

Posted on Tue, 02 Oct 2018

You’re an avid hiker and you already know that the W-trek is Chile’s #1 must-do trail. Time to discover what other sensational hiking trails the country has to offer. Chile’s recent announcement of the opening of a brand-new hiking trail, which effectively links three of its most impressive routes in Patagonia to form one colossal, 2800km odyssey, will certainly help …

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South America Reviews

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great value. All we requested in our time and pric Guides and hotels were great. Most tours were just the two of us but other larger groups were enjoyable. Agency was contactable, even finding and returning to hotel a jacket left on the bus. Follow up calls checked all was ok.Our only pproblem was due to a late add-on and limited time causing altitude sickness at Puno because of lack of acclimatisation. Machu Piccu was wonderful with plenty of time with and without the guide. Much better than the other large groups we saw.
Date published: 2014-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sth America & Mexico. Espectacular I recently toured Peru, Buenos Aires, Iguazu, Rio & Mexico City with Chimu. The service, itinerary timetable and attention to detail were first rate. As a first time tourist to South America they provided great peace of mind that everything was organised and I was kept informed throughout. On my trip Chimu management and staff went above and beyond when I had a minor incident (unrelated to tour itinerary). I will always remember this support and would warmly recommend Chimu to anyone looking to book one of their many adventure tours.
Date published: 2015-01-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil The itinerary was just wonderful. We saw all and more of what we had imagined. Chimu's MO of using local agents or subsidiaries worked really well - we had the beenift of our own space as well as meeting plenty of people on the various city tours etc.
Date published: 2015-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just Amazing!! Antarctica - Brilliant! MS Expedition and its crew were fantastic - food was never ending & cooked superbly. Nothing to fault. So amazing to see life without buildings, cars & pollution. The place makes you fell insignificant!!!! Am planning another trip! Peru - Cusco was fantastic. We arrived to see the last day of the festival so had colourful costumes, music & fun! Machu Picchu was beyond expectations. Fantastic local guide. Easter Island - Amazing. So interesting, especially the quarry with the Moai. Would recommend this location to anyone All in all, a trip of a lifetime!
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from South America - northern half Our tour was organised by Chimu Adventures and was excellent. In 5 weeks we saw Santiago, Valparaiso, Galapagos Islands for 5 days (needed 8 days), back to Quito for a couple of days (meant we had no problem with altitude), then Puno/Cusco/Machu Picchu/ Sacred Valley for about 6 days, then a boat on the Amazon for 4 days, over to Iguassu Falls, Rio, then Sao Paulo for a relative's wedding. Full comments sent to travel agent. Only wouldn't recommend Mabu Thermas & Resort Hotel at Iguassu - all other hotels great. Guides great.
Date published: 2014-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 6 weeks in South America We had a fantastic time in South America. Everything went smoothly and the guides organised by Chimu were fantastic, especially Diego who was our guide in Ecuador from a Chimu affiliated company called Latin Trails. We spent a week on Yolita 2 in the Galapagos covering the western and central islands itinerary and 3 days at La Selva Amazon lodge and would highly recommend both. Things we would change in hindsight: More time in the Amazon More time in the sacred valley, Peru An extra day at the amazing Iguassu falls (we only had 2 days there) Less time in Lima
Date published: 2016-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Trip The entire itinerary went smoothly, and we did not experience any delays, interuptions or revisions. Everything possible was covered, including entry fees, guides, tours etc. Some of the early pick ups (eg 4.00am!) should be reviewed, as they did not prove to be necessary. Most of the accommodation was excellent, including some that were 3 star rated. However some e.g. the Libertador chain should improve aspects of their service. It seems that the culture of the organisation is consistent thruout the chain, and they often seem that dealing with customers is an imposition. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our trip
Date published: 2018-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Trip Dianne & I have just returned from the amazing South American trip you put together for us. We gave you the briefest skeleton of what we wanted to see, just placenames really, and you added the flesh to produce an absolutely marvellous trip. From airport transfers to hotel rooms, from sightseeing excursions to the fantastic Sea Spirit cruise (which we agree with Greg was the best ever) and to the W Trek, every experience was just magic, and everything just clicked like a Swiss watch. Always on time, always easy, and always memorable. Thank you very much Chimu Adventures, we enjoyed every minute.
Date published: 2018-03-27
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Country Information

How to travel to South America

Posted on Thu, 25 Aug 2016

Unsurprisingly it’s something I’m often asked – where should I go and how should I travel to South America? I guess the answer can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. What I mean by that is that people like to approach their travel planning in different ways and so I’m going to provide a range of answers …

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12 Dazzling UNESCO-listed Attractions in South America

Posted on Thu, 18 Aug 2016

The Top UNESCO-listed Attractions in South America are a spellbinding collection of historical, cultural and natural wonders. Combined, they represent all that is so revered about this continent: from the amazing wilderness brimming with unique wildlife to all the ancient cultures that have shaped human evolution on our planet. Include a few or all on your next South America journey …

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The Rich and Quirky History of South America

Posted on Tue, 16 Aug 2016

South America has a lot in common with Europe, which dates back to the colonial era in the 15th century. There are some great stories and there is so much to explore in South America, while many people don’t know too much about the history. Read some of the quirky stories Chad Carey (Co-founder of Chimu Adventures) tells about the …

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Tip-Top Seasonal Dressing Guide for South America

Posted on Mon, 06 Jun 2016

Packing the right clothing for a cross-continental jaunt through South America is arguably one of the most daunting tasks you’ll face. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy Seasonal Dressing Guide for South America. Because figuring out what you should pack, what you should ditch, and what you should definitely not leave home without, can be mighty confusing to the uninitiated. Whether …

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Must see destinations in South America

Posted on Fri, 20 May 2016

It’s hard to cover every nook and cranny when you are travelling to one of the largest continents on the planet, that’s why we’ve put together a list of must see destinations in South America. A vast place with ecosystems ranging from the driest desert in the world, to snow-capped peaks to the might Amazon river. Must see destinations in …

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Wildlife in South America

Posted on Wed, 11 May 2016

The wildlife in South America is arguably the most varied on the entire planet. If not for culture and historical highlights alone, then at the very least for breathtaking nature and an array of utterly unique wildlife. The land of glaciers and tropical rainforests, vertiginous mountains and outstanding beaches, is home to a kaleidoscope of endemic wildlife. Most of it …

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Top 10 Restaurants in South America

Posted on Fri, 23 Oct 2015

South America has plenty of culinary delights to offer diners everywhere. Looking for the best restaurants? Here’s our top 10: (not in any order) 1. D.O.M. Photocredit: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

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Frequently Asked Questions

What money do they use in South America ?

Each country has its own currency with US Dollars being readily exchangeable throughout most of South America and accepted in many large hotels, top-end restaurants, supermarkets and major stores. Argentina - Argentinian Peso (ARS) Bolivia - Boliviano (BOB) Brazil - Brazilian Real (BRL) Chile - Chilean Peso (CLP) Colombia - Colombian Peso (COP) Ecuador - US Dollar (USD) French Guiana - Euro (EUR) Guyana - Guyana Dollar (GYD) Peru - Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN) Suriname - Suriname Dollar (SRD) Uruguay - Uruguayan Peso (UYU) Venezuela - Bolivar (VEF) Please check websites such as www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for up to date exchange rates prior to your departure.

What language do they speak in South America?

Portuguese and Spanish are the primary languages of South America. The majority of South Americans speak Portuguese but most South American countries are Spanish-speaking. English is spoken in Guyana, Dutch and Indonesian in Suriname and French in French Guiana.

What is the religion of South Americans?

Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in South America. In the Andes and lowland South America, shamanism and animism are common.

Do I need to be fit to go to South America ?

The level of fitness needed will depend on the South America tour that you choose to take in terms of countries to be visited and the types of activities to be included in your itinerary. Many parts of South America are at altitudes above 2000 metres, where there is a risk of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness effects everyone differently and usually has nothing to do with your general fitness level, but we highly recommend acclimatizing at altitude before taking strenuous treks or walks.

Is it safe to travel in South America?

Most South American countries have now recognized that tourism plays an important part in their economies and governments have taken great steps in the last few years to change South America’s poor security image. You will find a strong police presence in the towns, cities and sites most frequently visited by tourists. To minimise security risks we recommend the following: - do not show any outward signs of wealth or wear expensive jewellery - keep your valuables in your hotel in safety deposit boxes - keep any valuables that you must carry with you hidden, as pickpockets can be present in crowded areas and around tourist areas - use only taxis with official identification - avoid going on your own to remote areas/ruins where tourists would not be expected to go - always keep your day pack and camera close to you and never leave them unattended

Do I need a visa to travel to South America ?

Visas are required by some nationalities for travel to certain South American countries. Please refer to the detailed information on the specific countries that you plan to travel through for visa requirements.

How long do I need to travel to South America ?

You could spend anything from a few days to several months travelling in South America, depending on whether you plan to focus on just one country, or maybe just one experience such as the Inca Trail. Or whether you plan to encompass several countries in your South America travels. Chimu Adventures offers itineraries to suit every time frame.

How much should I budget for daily in South America?

South America can vary greatly in terms of prices in each country. Our South America tours include breakfast daily and many other meals may also be included in your itinerary. As a rough guide for additional spending money based on having moderately-priced lunches and dinners and buying a few souvenirs at local markets, we suggest the following budgets: 15-25 USD per day - Bolivia 20-30 USD per day - Peru, Ecuador, Colombia 25-35 USD per day - Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela 30-40 USD per day - Chile 35-45 USD per day - Brazil 30-50 USD per day - The Guianas

Do I need to get vaccinations for South America?

We recommend that you visit your doctor or a traveller’s medical centre for current information specific to those countries that you will be travelling through. As a general guide we recommend the following: - Yellow Fever – Especially for jungle areas - Hepatitis – Both A and B (twinrix) - Typhoid - Diphtheria - Cholera - Rabies - Tetanus

What kind of power adaptor plug do I need for South America ?

Most countries in South America use the European style outlet which contains 110v. Please visit the below link for more information on each country: http://electricaloutlet.org/

What should I pack to travel in South America?

What you need to pack will depend on when and where you plan on travelling and on the activities that you plan to include whilst on your South America tour. The following should act as a useful checklist of essential items: • Passport, photocopy of passport & spare passport photos • Travel Insurance documents • Air tickets and itinerary • Foreign Currency (US$) and/or debit/credit cards, traveller’s cheques • Money belt • Small daypack • Basic first aid kit • High UVA sun block • Sunglasses & sunhat • Mosquito spray & insect repellent • Comfortable walking shoes/boots • Sandals • Long sleeve tops and trousers • Light-weight clothing • Warm clothing (depending on itinerary and time of year) • Camera with spare battery and memory cards • Security code padlock • Adaptor • Small torch